Bylaws

Updated in convention April 16, 2016

  1. Purpose
  2. Statement of Principles
  3. Affiliation with the National Libertarian Party
  4. Membership
  5. Officers and Executive Committee
  6. Judicial Committee
  7. Convention Rules
  8. Nomination and Endorsement of Candidates
  9. Withdrawal of Nomination or Endorsement
  10. Affiliate Parties and Organizations
  11. Contact Data Usage Guidelines
  12. Campaign Laws
  13. Policies, Procedures, and Rules

1. Purpose

The purpose of the Libertarian Party of Minnesota shall be to function primarily as a political party to elect people to political office in order to achieve the values in the Statement of Principles. Its secondary purpose is educational work for the same goal.

2. Statement of Principles

We, the members of the Libertarian Party of Minnesota, hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and oppose the initiation of force or fraud as a means of achieving political or social goals. We are dedicated to the right of all individuals to live in whatever manner they choose, as long as they do not forcibly interfere with the right of others to live as they choose. Governments throughout history, including our own, have operated on the principle that the state has the right to control the lives of individuals and confiscate the fruits of their labor. All other political parties in this country grant government these powers. We, however, hold that governments, when instituted, have only one legitimate function: to protect the rights of the individual.

We challenge the concept that governments have the right to become involved in any activity not directly related to the protection of individual rights. Governments should exist only to ensure the right to free speech and action, the right to own property, and the right to engage in voluntary contractual arrangements with other individuals. No individual should be forced by the State, or another person, to relinquish any portion of his or her life or property for the benefit of another person.

2.1. Conditional Existence: In recognition of the importance of the foregoing Statement of Principles the duration of the Libertarian Party of Minnesota shall be conditional upon its adherence to the Statement of Principles.

2.2. Change Approval: The Statement of Principles shall not be changed without the approval of more than 80% of the membership and 80% of the Executive Committee and if challenged, 80% of the Judicial Committee.

2.3. Platform: The Statement of Principles shall head the Libertarian Party of Minnesota platform and all planks in the platform must be consistent with it.

2.4 Changes to Bylaws 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, and 2.4 require an 80% vote of the registered delegates to the convention. Changes to all other Bylaws require two-thirds of the vote of the registered delegates present and voting at the convention.

3. Affiliation with the National Libertarian Party

The Libertarian Party of Minnesota shall remain affiliated with the National Libertarian Party and shall endorse their candidates as long as it and they remain consistent with the Statement of Principles.

3.1. In years when the National Libertarian Party holds its convention, the state convention shall provide for the election of delegates and alternates to represent Minnesota at the national convention up to the number of positions allowed. Such national delegates and alternates shall be current members of the Libertarian Party of Minnesota, shall be nominated from the floor at convention, and shall be elected by majority vote of the state delegates.

  1. Each state delegate may cast a single vote for each candidate for national delegate, up to the number of positions allowed. Voting shall be by secret ballot. None of the above (NOTA) shall automatically be an option on all ballots. If NOTA is selected on a ballot, votes for other candidates on the same ballot shall be void. If total votes for NOTA exceed those of other candidates, candidates with lesser vote totals shall be deemed not elected even if obtaining a majority.
  2. Alternates shall be allowed for up to half the number of national delegate positions available. Candidates with the most votes shall become delegates and candidates with lesser vote totals shall be deemed alternates. In the event a delegate should resign, alternates shall be called upon in the order of vote totals received.

3.2. If the Chair or Vice Chair do not become delegates, the elected national delegates shall immediately vote to select a delegation chair.

3.3. In the event that national delegate or alternate positions remain vacant or if an elected delegate or alternate should resign, the Executive Committee may appoint delegates or alternates to fill the vacant position(s) by a majority vote. Such delegates or alternates shall be current members of the Libertarian Party of Minnesota. Any candidate for national delegate who sought support at the convention and failed to achieve it is ineligible to be appointed by the Executive Committee for that year.

4. Membership

Membership in the Libertarian Party of Minnesota shall be open to all who subscribe to and sign a membership application pledging to oppose the initiation of force or fraud (coercion) as a means of achieving political or social goals, and pay such dues as decided by the Executive Committee. Regular Members pay annual dues, or monthly dues totaling to the annual amount. Lifetime Members pay a one-time larger fee within any one year period, the payment schedule and amount to be determined by the Executive Committee.

4.1. Suspension or Termination of Membership: The Executive Committee may suspend or terminate the membership of any member who by action or advocacy, contradicts the Statement of Principles. The member may appeal his termination or suspension to the Judicial Committee.

4.2. A member holding leadership position(s) whose membership has expired shall automatically lapse from those position(s), provided that reasonable notice is given, and whereupon after prompt renewal their position(s) shall be retained as if no lapse had occurred.

5. Officers and Executive Committee

The Executive Committee shall be comprised of the following executives:

5.1. Officers:

  1. The Chair; who shall preside at the meetings.
  2. The Vice Chair; who shall preside in the absence of the Chair.
  3. The Secretary; who shall keep record of the proceedings of the meetings. At each meeting the Secretary shall present the minutes of the previous meeting for approval.
  4. The Treasurer; who shall receive all monies paid to the Libertarian Party of Minnesota and shall deposit same in such bank as shall have been designated by the Executive Committee, and who may appoint a designee(s) to perform these functions with the approval of the Executive Committee. The Treasurer shall present a written report whenever at least two executives so request; in addition, the Treasurer shall present a written report to the Executive Committee on at least a quarterly basis. Expenditure of funds shall be made only in accordance of the decisions of the Executive Committee.

5.2. At-Large Executives: Up to eight voting members At Large are authorized to be elected in convention to the Executive Committee.

5.3. Acting Executives: Each registered affiliate, as defined elsewhere in these bylaws, shall be eligible to represent their affiliate on the Executive Committee in a manner chosen by the affiliate. The affiliate’s Acting Executive may participate in Executive Committee votes if they are present in person, or through remote interactive teleconferencing in a manner approved by the Executive Committee.

The rules of the Executive Committee are:

5.4. The Executive Committee may set its policy for voting by proxy on specific issues and for appointing alternates. A minimum of five executives are required for a quorum. A quorum must require either the Chair or Vice Chair to be present.

5.5. The Meeting Dates and Agenda shall be decided by the Executive Committee. Executive Committee meetings shall be run according to Robert’s Rules of Order. Meetings shall be open to Party members.

  1. Regular meetings shall be decided at the previous meeting or occur on a regular periodic basis.
  2. Special meetings may be needed from time to time to handle urgent matters. Special meetings may be called by the Chair or Vice Chair, and shall be announced and matters acted upon shall be limited to those announced at least four days in advance of the meeting. If two or more executives object to the holding of a special meeting, the meeting shall not be held and matters shall be deferred to the next regular meeting.

5.6. Vacancy and Succession on the Executive Committee shall be decided by the Executive Committee.

5.7. Term of Office: Executives shall be elected for a term of 1 year.

5.8. Nomination and Election: Executives shall be nominated from the floor at convention and shall be elected by majority vote of the delegates. The election of the Executive Committee shall be held in the odd numbered years. Voting shall be by secret ballot. All candidates wishing to have their name placed in nomination, shall file notice of their intent by the time established by the Convention Committee. Candidates for Executive Committee shall be current members of the Libertarian Party of Minnesota, and shall not hold a leadership position in another party’s name. All candidates for Executive Committee shall be required to have been a member of the Libertarian Party of Minnesota at least 45 days prior to the convention. None of the above (NOTA) shall automatically be an option on all ballots.

5.9. When two or more candidates are on the ballot for Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, or Treasurer and if after two ballots none of the candidates has achieved the required votes for election, the candidate with the fewest votes shall be removed from the ballot. The candidates eliminated shall be offered one minute to address the convention prior to the next ballot. In case of a tie, candidates with the fewest votes shall draw straws to determine who is eliminated. This procedure will continue for all subsequent ballots.  The option of NOTA shall remain on all ballots.

5.10. Each delegate may cast up to eight votes for At-Large Executives on the first ballot, but no more than one vote for any one candidate. Any candidate achieving a majority on any ballot shall be elected. On subsequent ballots each delegate may cast as many votes as there are offices to fill, but no more than one vote for any one candidate.

5.11. If any Executive Committee Office has gone unfilled anytime after 10 ballots, any delegate may make a motion to end the balloting. If a majority of the delegates voting, vote to end balloting, balloting shall cease.

5.12. After balloting has ended, if the offices of the Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and/or Treasurer are unfilled, the outgoing Executive Committee shall meet within ten days following the end of the convention and fill those offices that are vacant. If after balloting has ended, there are fewer than four At-Large Executives, the outgoing Executive Committee shall meet within ten days following the end of the convention and fill the number of offices required to bring the number of At-Large Executives to four.

5.13. Offices and functions may be combined.

5.14. The Executive Committee shall not go into debt in the name of the Libertarian Party of Minnesota.

5.15. The Executive Committee and its duly appointed subcommittees shall administrate the functions of the Libertarian Party of Minnesota to achieve its purpose.

5.16. The Executive Committee may, without notice, remove any of its executives who miss two consecutive regularly scheduled meetings without notifying the Chair or Secretary. Failure to exercise this provision shall not limit the right of the Committee to exercise it in the future.

6. Judicial Committee

The Judicial Committee shall be comprised of up to five members, as follows:

6.1. Term of Office: Judicial Committee members shall be elected for a term of 2 years.

6.2. Nomination and Election: Judicial Committee members shall be nominated from the floor at convention and shall be elected by majority vote of the delegates. The election of 2 members shall be held in the odd numbered years, and 3 members shall be held in even numbered years. No more than 2 Executive Committee members may be members of the Judicial Committee. The members of the Judicial Committee shall select the Chair of the Judicial Committee. The newly elected members shall take office immediately upon the close of the convention. A member may serve successive terms. Judicial Committee members must be Party members for at least one year preceding their election. Voting shall be by secret ballot.  None of the above (NOTA) shall automatically be an option on all ballots.

6.3. In the event of a vacancy, the Judicial Committee shall appoint a new member to serve the remainder of the vacant position’s term.

6.4. The jurisdiction of the Judicial Committee is limited to the following matters:

  1. Any challenge brought by a Party member to an Executive Committee decision alleged to be inconsistent with the Statement of Principles or the Bylaws.
  2. Any challenge brought by a Party member to the validity of an Executive Committee resolution.
  3. Any challenge brought by an Officer or Executive to their removal from their position.
  4. Any challenge brought by a Party member to a decision not to seat them as a delegate at a state convention.
  5. Any challenge brought by a Party member to the removal of an affiliate.
  6. Any challenge brought by a Party member to the Executive Committee’s withdrawal of a candidate’s nomination.
  7. Any challenge brought by a Party member to an Executive Committee’s decision to suspend or terminate their membership.
  8. Challenges brought within an affiliate on matters equivalent to the above.

The rules of the Judicial Committee are:

6.5. The Judicial Committee shall act on a challenge submitted in writing to any member of the Judicial Committee within 30 days of submission. The Judicial Committee may decline to hear a challenge by a three-fourths (3/4) vote at which a quorum is present. A minimum of three Judicial Committee members are required for a quorum.

6.6. The Judicial Committee may establish written Rules to govern its consideration of matters within the scope of its jurisdiction. The Rules, and any proposed changes to the Rules (including complete revocation), shall be submitted to the Executive Committee for approval, which shall be deemed given unless denied by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Executive Committee. A copy of the current Rules shall be maintained by the Secretary in the Party’s files and shall be available to any Party member. For actions which may not be governed by the Rules, Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern.

6.7. If the person submitting a challenge or who is being challenged is also a member of the Judicial Committee, that person’s membership on the Judicial Committee shall be automatically suspended in regard to that challenge.

6.8. Party members shall adhere to decisions rendered by the Judicial Committee.

7. Convention Rules

The Party shall hold an annual convention each year between February 1 and July 31, performing such business as required herein.

7.1. The specific date, location and agenda of Libertarian Party of Minnesota conventions shall be set by the Executive Committee or a convention committee designated by the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee may designate platform, bylaws, and issues committees to prepare and prioritize items for convention consideration.

7.2. All members of the Libertarian Party of Minnesota shall be eligible to register to be delegates to the state convention. Unless renewing their membership, no one joining the party less than 45 days before the convention may be a delegate until the next convention.

7.3. The convention shall be run by Robert’s Rules of Order. The officers of the Party shall be the officers of each convention.

7.4. Additions, modifications, and deletions to the Platform shall require a two-thirds (2/3) vote of all registered delegates present and voting at the convention.

7.5. Changes to the Bylaws take effect at the close of convention business.

8. Nomination and Endorsement of Candidates

Candidates for federal, state, or local office may be nominated or endorsed under the methods and conditions described herein.

8.1. Nominations: A candidate nominated by the Libertarian Party of Minnesota for public office shall be a member of the Libertarian Party of Minnesota, shall support its platform, shall not hold a leadership position in another party’s name, and shall be its official candidate for that office in that election. A candidate who is nominated shall have expressed a willingness to accept the nomination and shall be eligible to serve in that office. Nominated candidates may also use the term “endorsed”.

8.2. Endorsements: A candidate who is not a member of the Libertarian Party of Minnesota may be endorsed by it if it has not nominated a candidate for that office in that election. A candidate who is endorsed shall be eligible to serve in that office.

8.3. Candidates may be nominated or endorsed at the annual convention under the following conditions:

  1. Nomination or endorsement of candidates for federal or state offices which appear on the ballot statewide may be made only in the year of the corresponding general election.
  2. All candidates seeking nomination or endorsement, shall file notice of their intent by the time established by the Convention Committee.
  3. Candidates shall provide a notice of intent and written information on their qualifications, background, campaign positions, and any other information they deem relevant. The candidate shall provide a minimum of 25 copies of this information to be made available to the convention delegates. Candidates seeking nomination may be required to provide proof that they are members and a signed and dated written statement that they will support the platform.
  4. Candidates or their designee shall have ten minutes to address the convention before balloting takes place. No vote to nominate or endorse shall be binding unless all members of the Executive Committee have been provided with basic information on the candidate, which may include campaign literature, a campaign website, or a summary of their positions and principles, at least seven days prior to the convention.
  5. Delegates shall have ten minutes, or such longer time as the Chairman determines, to ask questions of the candidates prior to the first ballot.
  6. An intermission period shall occur after the candidate(s) or designee(s) address to the convention and before the first ballot.
  7. A paper ballot shall be prepared for the offices for which candidates have provided a notice of intent.
  8. None of the above (NOTA) shall automatically be an option on all ballots for public office. The convention may decline to nominate or endorse any candidate for public office, even if there are persons seeking nomination or endorsement for that office. Any candidate who sought endorsement at the convention and failed to achieve it, is ineligible to be nominated or endorsed by the Executive Committee, for that office in the current election cycle.
  9. All nomination or endorsement votes shall be by secret ballot. To secure nomination or endorsement a candidate must receive the votes of two-thirds (2/3) of the delegates voting for that office.
  10. When two or more candidates are on the ballot for an office and if after two ballots none of the candidates have achieved the required votes for nomination or endorsement, the candidate with the fewest votes shall be removed from the ballot. The candidates eliminated shall be offered one minute to address the convention prior to the next ballot. In case of a tie, candidates with the fewest votes shall draw straws to determine who is eliminated. This procedure shall continue for all subsequent ballots. The option of NOTA shall remain on all ballots.
  11. If no candidate (or NOTA) has achieved the required votes for nomination or endorsement anytime after 10 ballots, any delegate may make a motion to end the balloting. If a majority of the delegates vote to end balloting, balloting shall cease.

8.4. The Executive Committee may nominate or endorse candidates under the following conditions:

  1. For any office having its general election in the current year, if the annual convention did not nominate or endorse a candidate for that office.
  2. For any special election.
  3. When the party’s nominated or endorsed candidate dies or withdraws from the race.
  4. When a candidate’s nomination or endorsement is removed by the Executive Committee as provided elsewhere in these bylaws.
  5. When all members of the Executive Committee have been provided with basic information on the candidate, which may include campaign literature, a campaign website, or a summary of their positions and principles, at least seven days prior to any vote.
  6. Executive Committee nomination or endorsement requires a two-thirds (2/3) majority of those present and voting.

8.5. Candidates may be nominated by an affiliate under the following conditions:

  1. For any office having its general election in the current year, if the annual convention or Executive Committee did not nominate a candidate for that office.
  2. For any special election.
  3. When the affiliate holds registered status as provided elsewhere in these Bylaws.
  4. A nomination shall require at least four members present and a two-thirds (2/3) majority of those present and voting. Upon nomination by the affiliate and minutes describing the circumstances of such nomination being presented to the Party, the candidate shall automatically be considered as nominated by the Libertarian Party of Minnesota.
  5. A candidate whose district transcends an affiliate’s geographic region shall not be considered nominated until all affiliates within that district concur with the nomination.
  6. The Executive Committee shall retain the power to withdraw an affiliate nomination, as provided elsewhere in these Bylaws.

8.6. Nomination or endorsement of candidates shall not be refused solely because a candidate accepts money from the Minnesota Political Contribution Refund (PCR) program, the State Elections Campaign Fund, or matching funds.

8.7. Candidates nominated for Minnesota House, Minnesota Senate, US Congress, or US Senate shall pledge that, if elected, they shall not caucus with either the Democratic Party or Republican Party or otherwise align with these parties on a permanent basis. Candidates may caucus with other Libertarians or with representatives of other parties if they so choose. Candidates may vote in concert with representatives of any party on an issue-by-issue basis.

9. Withdrawal of Nomination or Endorsement

9.1. A candidate’s nomination or endorsement may be withdrawn by the Executive Committee. Withdrawal of nomination or endorsement requires a three-quarters (3/4) vote of those present and voting at a meeting. That candidate’s nomination or endorsement shall then be declared null and void unless the candidate appeals the withdrawal to the Judicial Committee within seven days of receipt of notification of withdrawal. The resolution of withdrawal must state the specific reasons for withdrawal and must be signed by each member of the Executive Committee agreeing thereto.

10. Affiliates

Regional parties consistent with the Statement of Principles and goals of the Libertarian Party of Minnesota may be affiliated with the Libertarian Party of Minnesota at the discretion of the Executive Committee.

10.1. Affiliates may obtain and maintain registered status under the following conditions:

  1. To become registered, the affiliate shall represent a regional area of Minnesota, shall enact their own bylaws not inconsistent with the Statement of Principles, and shall express their intent to be affiliated with the Libertarian Party of Minnesota. The Executive Committee shall agree to accept the affiliate by a majority vote.
  2. To remain registered, the affiliate shall consist of at least four active members, shall hold at least four meetings or events per year, and shall send a representative to the annual convention or participate in at least four Executive Committee meetings per year. Afflilates which fail to do so shall lapse to unregistered status and thus lose their vote on the Executive Committee.
  3. Those holding leadership positions in a registered affiliate shall be members of the Libertarian Party of Minnesota. Members of the Libertarian Party of Minnesota who reside within an affiliate’s district shall also be members of their regional affiliate and thus be eligible to seek that affiliate’s leadership positions and vote at its conventions. Registered affiliates shall hold an annual convention between February 1 and July 31 for the purpose of electing such leadership and conducting affiliate business. An affiliate convention shall not coincide with the state convention.

10.2. Affiliates may be of the following types:

  1. Subsidiary: The affiliate may obtain its funding from the state party.
  2. Independent: The affiliate shall obtain its own funding and maintain a Treasurer position.

11. Contact Data Usage Guidelines

“Contact data” is defined to be personal information of state party members, persons contacted via public outreach activities, and persons inquiring with the Libertarian Party of Minnesota.

Contact data shall not be sold or shared with any person or organization, except as follows:

11.1. Contact data may be shared with the Executive Committee.

11.2. Relevant contact data may be shared with the leadership of registered affiliate organizations.

11.3. Relevant contact data may be shared with nominated candidates after separate approval by the Executive Committee.

11.4. Contact data shall not be shared with non-Libertarian candidates, even if they are endorsed.

11.5. General members may use relevant contact data for purposes benefiting the state party, affiliate organizations, or nominated candidates under supervision of at least one member of the Executive Committee, the Executive Director, chair of the Website Committee, or chair of the Communication Committee.

12. Campaign Laws

12.1. The Party will accept money from the State Elections Campaign Fund (a.k.a. Minnesota Income Tax form $5 Check-off).

13. Policies, Procedures, and Rules

A committee established by the Executive Committee or by convention may adopt, revise, and revoke policies, procedures, and rules for conducting its meetings and business as it shall determine from time to time, so long as these do not conflict with these Bylaws.

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